New OPT STEM Rule Available

Great News! New OPT STEM Rule Available Below is the unpublished copy of New OPT STEM Rule – Good News is that OPT Extension is proposed for 24 months from 17 Months DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Parts 214 and 274a [DHS Docket No. ICEB-2015-0002] RIN 1653-AA72 Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 […]

Great News! New OPT STEM Rule Available

Below is the unpublished copy of New OPT STEM RuleGood News is that OPT Extension is proposed for 24 months from 17 Months

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
8 CFR Parts 214 and 274a
[DHS Docket No. ICEB-2015-0002]
RIN 1653-AA72

Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students
with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students
AGENCY: Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its F-1
nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain
students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from
U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the proposal would allow such F-1
STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the United States to
extend the OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension). This 24-month extension
would effectively replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension currently available to
certain STEM students
. The rule also improves and increases oversight over STEM OPT
extensions by, among other things, requiring the implementation of formal mentoring and
training plans by employers, adding wage and other protections for STEM OPT students
and U.S. workers, and allowing extensions only to students with degrees from accredited
schools.

As with the current 17-month STEM OPT extension, the proposed rule would
authorize STEM OPT extensions only for students employed by employers enrolled in
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS’) E-Verify employment eligibility
verification program
. The proposal also includes the “Cap-Gap” relief first introduced in
2008 for any F-1 student with a timely filed H-1B petition and request for change of
status. This Cap-Gap relief allows such students to automatically extend the duration of
F-1 status and any current employment authorization until October 1 of the fiscal year for
which such H-1B visa is being requested.

In addition to improving the integrity and value of the STEM OPT program, this
proposed rule also responds to a court decision that vacated a 2008 DHS regulation on
procedural grounds. The proposed rule includes changes to the policies announced in the
2008 rule to further enhance the academic benefit provided by STEM OPT extensions
and increase oversight, which will better ensure that students gain valuable practical
STEM experience that supplements knowledge gained through their academic studies,
while preventing adverse effects to U.S. workers. By earning a functional understanding
of how to apply their academic knowledge in a work setting, students will be better
positioned to begin careers in their fields of study. These on-the-job educational
experiences would be obtained only with those employers that commit to developing
students’ knowledge and skills through practical application. The proposed changes
would also help ensure that the nation’s colleges and universities remain globally
competitive in attracting international STEM students to study and lawfully remain in the
United States

You can review the complete copy of this rule here 

Source: Desiopt
For most people asking: Eligibility Page 39 quote
“As a transitional measure, DHS is also proposing to allow a subset of students already on a 17-month extension to take advantage of the proposed 24-month program, consistent with the requirements set forth in this proposed rule. Qualifying students would be able to request the balance of the modified extension up to 120 days before the end of the student’s 17-month period. Such requesting students would have to meet all requirements of the new STEM OPT extension proposal, including submission of the Mentoring and Training Plan described below.”
You can review the complete copy of this rule here 

2 comments

  1. NA

    As a transitional measure, DHS is also proposing to allow a subset of students
    already on a 17-month extension to take advantage of the proposed 24-month program, consistent with the requirements set forth in this proposed rule. Qualifying students would be able to request the balance of the modified extension up to 120 days before the end of the student’s 17-month period..
    What does this mean? what if someone’s opt expiring on 1st feb and the rule is implemented on 16th feb. Will he be able to benefit from the rule..

    1. admin

      If you are talking about OPT being expired yes they would be eligible to apply for the STEM extension for 24 months. But if the person’s STEM-OPT is expiring in Feb 2016, they would have a tough time as the implementation of new rule may take some time and the candidate may go of status. If the rule is approved before Feb 2016 they may be eligible for the 7 month extension

      ***My opinion not legal advice

Leave a Reply to NA Cancel reply